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The Meaning of Autocratic Elections: Implications for Electoral Integrity

Asia
Comparative Politics
Democratisation
Elections
Lee Morgenbesser
Griffith University
Lee Morgenbesser
Griffith University

Abstract

This paper examines how the various functions of flawed elections impact overall electoral integrity. Beginning from the premise that autocratic regimes use elections to manage elites, gain information, distribute patronage and/or pursue legitimation, it shows how these meanings can either encourage and discourage manipulation. This argument is tested against three case studies in Southeast Asia, namely Cambodia, Myanmar and Singapore. The article concludes by addressing the theoretical and practical implications of this finding.